KBC to launch Mastercard credit card in Ireland

CEO says personal loans will be offered 'later in spring'

The card will offer up to 56 days interest-free credit and incorporates new “tap and go” technology that will allow consumers to pay for purchases of €15 or less without a Pin number.

The card will offer up to 56 days interest-free credit and incorporates new “tap and go” technology that will allow consumers to pay for purchases of €15 or less without a Pin number.

 


KBC Bank Ireland plans to launch a Mastercard credit card in the coming days as the latest step in its introduction of personal banking products here. This follows the launch by KBC last year of current accounts and a debit card in the Irish market.

The move was confirmed by Wim Verbraeken, KBC’s chief executive in Ireland, in an exclusive interview in Business This Week .

“It’s really completing the suite of products,” Mr Verbraeken said. “We already had a debit card with an overdraft and it’s clear that customers expect to be able to apply for a credit card.”

The credit card will have an APR interest rate of 18.25 per cent on purchases and KBC is offering card switchers the opportunity to pay no interest on the transfer balance for the first six months.


‘Tap and go’
The card will offer up to 56 days interest-free credit and incorporates new “tap and go” technology that will allow consumers to pay for purchases of €15 or less without a Pin number. Credit limits will range from €500 to €25,000.

Mr Verbraeken said KBC would begin offering personal loans “later this spring”. He said KBC was attracting “thousands” of current account customers each year. It currently has 160,000 customers across mortgages, deposits and current accounts.

Mr Verbraeken said KBC has 14,195 mortgage customers in arrears with another 8,300 in some form of restructuring. This is from a total of about 64,000 mortgage accounts.


Pilot scheme
KBC recently agreed a six-month pilot scheme with the Irish Mortgage Holders Organisation to allow arrears customers deal at arm’s length with the bank.

He said the IMHO had sent out 360 packs since the partnership was announced on March 4th, with 50 packs returned by customers to date. “This is much better than AIB [which has a similar pilot with the IMHO] in the first three weeks. We’re quite encouraged by it,” he said.

Mr Verbraeken said customers who use the IMHO channel would not receive any preferential treatment. “They go through the normal process in the bank. It’s just an additional channel to engage with us. It’s not a fast track, it’s not a slow track, it is a track to engage with us and have an advocate deal with us.”